Ever dream of teaching students who are so engaged that they don’t notice when class ends? Ever imagine that students might laugh, give high fives, and genuinely have fun while taking an exam? To make this happen, the evidence is solid in support of the teaching model called Team-Based Learning (TBL), developed by organizational behavior specialist Larry K. Michaelsen.
Team-Based Learning is a method that fosters greater student independence and personal responsibility for learning—in any discipline and with any content. The key is a simple, coherent set of instructional protocols that, when adopted consistently, ensure that all the forces for engagement are aligned for high-level learning and critical thinking.
Students are assigned to permanent teams and students’ grades are based on their performance on individual and team tasks. Students are held accountable for completing reading assignments using short, multiple-choice quizzes that students complete as an individual and as a team. A variety of in-class activities get students talking to their teammates about class material, resolving differences in their understanding, and applying their knowledge to authentic tasks. Teammates are held accountable for contributing positively to team performance via peer evaluations that become part of students’ final grades.
At the end of this week-long workshop, participants will be able to redesign the class of their choice using team-based learning.
Teaching and Learning STEM
This short course is based on the highly acclaimed book Teaching and Learning STEM, A Practical Guide, by Richard M. Felder and Rebecca Brent. The workshops offer a collection of practical, research-based strategies for designing and teaching courses as well as assessing students’ learning. These strategies can be easily implemented in new or established courses. Topics include:
- Getting courses off to a good start
- Actively engaging students in class, no matter how large the class is
- Helping students acquire basic knowledge, conceptual understanding, and skills in problem solving, communication, creative and critical thinking, high-performance teamwork, and self-directed learning
- Making effective use of technology in face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses, including flipped classrooms
Using the book as a guide, participants will find ways to work smarter and to help improve their students’ desire and ability to master tough material, whether it is in STEM fields or other fields.
How to Teach and Speak with Ease and Impact
This short course offers skills to help participants dissolve public speaking anxiety while strengthening their connections with students, which leads to more engaged learning. The new approaches can be used in settings from small groups to large classrooms. In this safe, encouraging atmosphere, faculty and staff will learn an elegantly simple set of exercises based on Speaking Circles International, founded by Lee Glickstein in 1989. Training Director and Psychologist Doreen Hamilton, Ph.D., has also added her expertise on “finding your real voice.” During each workshop, participants will briefly experience being the center of attention, with no rules about what to say or requirement to speak at all. You will also be gently coached by a Speaking Circles Facilitator-Trainee on a natural approach for engaging any audience or listeners and holding their attention.
Peer Coaching: A Classroom Observation Program
Peer coaching is a process in which teachers work in pairs to learn how to observe each other’s teaching and give specific, concrete suggestions for change. Partners observe each other’s classes and survey each other’s students using a time-tested protocol. Afterwards, pairs meet to share the students’ comments as well as their own observations and expertise. They also write letters for each other for use in job searches (graduate students) or the “Evidence of Effective Teaching from other Professionals” section of the Annual Performance Review (faculty).
Classroom Visitations (by Academy staff and affiliated faculty)
Do you want to enhance your teaching and your students’ learning while earning higher student evaluations? A staff member chosen by the Teaching Academy or an affiliated faculty will visit your face-to-face class and administer mid-term evaluations to your students. After this visitation, the consultant will give you feedback from the students and from his/her own observations.
All visitations are confidential and provide formative feedback only. For faculty this means that the consultant cannot write a letter for the “evidence from other professionals” section of the annual performance evaluation (APR). For that, you must ask a peer or join Peer Coaching or the Peer Review Network. In the APR, you may reflect on the experience and the changes you made in the “evidence from the instructor” section.
Research shows that classroom visitations such as these improve student evaluations. Instructions who give midterm evals and discuss them with a consultant earn end-of-term evals in the 74th percentile. Instructors who don’t give midterm evals earn end-of-term ratings at the 50th percentile.